The final few days!
Well after 300 hours of training, 30 weeks, 270 training sessions, over 3000k on the bike, 130k of swimming, 720k of running, 160,000 extra calories and one broken collar bone, the day has finally come. In all honesty I am absolutely bricking it (a nice tri pun for you there!) and the fear is at stupid levels. But I am seriously looking forward to it. Despite what many doctors told me 8 weeks ago, I am waiting to start with a fully healed collar bone and in some sort of shape, though carrying a few extra kilos than I was hoping. It has been an incredible journey with so many ups and downs.
Firstly, thank you so much to everyone who has donated some money. (And joe, say bloody hell, thanks to your dad from me!) It is going to a fantastic cause as all the northeners among you will know, and is a really good motivator when the chips are down. And I am going to need all the motivation I can come the final lap of the bike and 2nd half of the marathon. At the time of writing, I have raised £776, with only £224 til I reach my total of £1000, so if you havent already sponsored me, get yourself down to http://www.justgiving.com/timdoesironman and click Donate Now!
I am heading down to the ‘Iron Village’ as it is called this evening to register, find my way around etc, then tomorrow it is an early morning swim, check I have everything, check out the last of the bike course, get myself even more nervous and meet up with the seemlingly hundreds of people I know who will be down there. Saturday is another early morning swim, quick check of the bike and short run to blow the cobwebs in the legs away, pre-race massage, a few naps, check my bike and transistion bags in then race briefing followed by pasta party!
Race day starts at 3 for me, as I get up and try and pile 1000 calories into me before 4 so I can digest it. I then check my post-race bag and emergency bag in, pump my tyres up, put my wetsuit and then just the small matter 140.6 miles to complete….
For those coming to watch, I don’t there are any starters among you, but if there are, the race kicks off in Rivington Reservoir at 6. You will need to be parked at the event site before then if you want a parking spot for the swim or the bike near the start, as the roads are shut from 6 til 1 (postcode is pr6 9hg). They then reopen the car park at 1 if you are coming to watch the latter parts, otherwise find a car park in the town centre or close to the bike route (details on http://www.iron.ironmanuk.com/). The swim is 2 laps of the reservoir, then 3 laps of the bike course and then the run includes a couple of laps followed by the finish going into Bolton town centre, finishing outside the town hall. Good places to watch are (so I’m told) for the bike is Sheep House Lane, a horrible climb for us at the start of the bike lap about 10-15 min walk from the swim start, so I’ll be going slow enough to be spotted, or for the run, the Crown Pub, which is as about 20 mins walk from the swim start. For those arriving later in the day, the town centre will be the place to be to watch the finish, which finishes outside the town hall, just follow the noise and the quizzical looks of all the locals. Apparently Queens Park gardens will be very popular for parking on race day.
In terms of time, race starts at 6 and I should be out of the water at around 7.15, maybe a bit before, bit after, depending on how beaten up I get in the aqua ruck at the start. The bike course will take me around 6 and a half/7 hours, so I will be going round a lap every 2/2 and a half hours. So 9.15-10.00, and 11.15-12.15 there or there abouts, finishing around 1 – half 2 depending on how my body holds out. The run is then anyones guess, I should have been around the 4 hour mark, but a fractured collar bone saw to that, so it could be 4 hours, or it could be 8. So I could finish as early as 6, but as late as 11. Whichever it is, keep an eye out!
For those not coming to watch, if you are bored at all on Sunday you can go to http://ironman.com/ and there will be a race tracker online, where you can see how I’m doing. This is updated live as I pass over various timing parts with my timing chip strapped onto me. I’m guessing there will be swim start, exit, bike start, start of every lap (possiby), end of bike, start of run and end of run. I am bib number #236.
That goes to all of those watching too, look out for # 236 and give us a shout! I’ll need it!
In terms of afterwards, I have no idea, as long as I finish I don’t really care what happens! Most likely I’ll need to be carried to the medical tent and have some fluids and my massage and then I will probably stay and watch the finish line for a while. For anyone who has never seen a finish before, go to youtube and search for team hoyt, a seriously moving story, or ‘ironman I can’ and have a look around if youre bored, some truly incredible stories on there. More than likely, I’ll pass out in my car til Monday, but if youre going to be around in the evening, reply to this and we shall sort something out.
So all that remains to be said is thank you to all the support, especially fellow tris and friends for the support after my crash. I went through some bad times after that, but still managed to prove the doctors wrong! Some off you, I’ll see you at the start line, others at the finish, the rest probably on facebook! And a final plug: http://www.justgiving.com/timdoesironman
PS I have bragging rights for at least a couple of weeks after, but after that, if I’m still going on about it constantly, tell me to shut it!